Page images
PDF
EPUB

and sex. They estimate the con- 1st. The number of inhabitants tributions at present, or rather be- to a league square is 1080. fore the late continental war, at 2d. The number of births to the 334,000,000 ; or about 9 livres 7 whole population is as I to 28. sous per head. Thus it would at 3d. The number of marriages first blush appear, that the ex- to population as 1 to 132. penses, or rather the burdens of 4th. The number of deaths to the people, were essentially dimin- the population as 1 to 30. ished. But it is necessary to ob- From the last of which it results, serve, that, by the accounts of the that there are thirty persons born treasury for the year eleven, which to twenty-eight that die, so that was the year in which they were there is a small increase of popuat peace with all the world, the lation annually in France, from actual receipts of the treasury natural causes,which might double amounted to 741,230,351, equal its population in a little more than to about thirty millions sterling ; four hundred years. But when and though the articles, which we place against this, the extra compose a large part of this rev. loss of inhabitants, arising from enue, are not what are called per- occasional epidemicks, which ocsonal contributions, yet they arise cur in populous countries every from indirect taxes,excises,stamps, century at least, and the loss in lotteries, &c. which are in effect a war, which is not computed, and charge on the publick, and there. Other general disasters, I cannot fore amount to nearly as much per think the increase more than sufhead, as the contributions before ficient to keep up the existing the revolution, viz. to upwards of numbers. 22 livres for each individual. The As to the effects of emigration expenses of the year 13, which was or of immigration on most of the the last amounted to 684,000,000, States of Europe, they are very and the revenues were made ade- inconsiderable,especially in France, quate to the discharge of them. where the rigour with regard to But you will observe, the conti- passports is such, that it is imposnental war had not then broken sible for a Frenchman to quit his out, and that a war with England country, to enter it, or to travel in only does not cost France more it, without the leave of the police ; than a state of peace. Her milita- which leave, at least to quit the ry establishment would in either country, will not be given without case be the same, and the French the most urgent reasons. No will never relax their measures to such system exists in England !! re-establish their marine : in short, An Englishman lands, and emi. I think it would be more active in grates, travels, or stays at home, time of peace, than in that of war. without passports or domiciliary The manner of raising their taxes visits !! I shall make the subject of a fu- The number of men between 20 ture letter.

and 40 (and who are all liable to From the late 'returns, officially military service) amounts to about made to the government; the fol- 7,600,000. Out of this number, lowing facts, in relation to the 60,000 are drawn by lot annually ; population of France are estab- so that about 1 in 127 of all the lished:

males between 20 and 40 are an

nually called into service. Of and which will finally enable her these 60,000 one half go into du. to accomplish her views of empire. ty immediately, but the other When I speak of the education 30,000 are kept as an army of re- of youth, as I shall hereafter, you serve. This is the usual course : will see still more powerful founbut as soon as the war with Aus- dations laid in the character and tria broke out, they called out the habits of that part of society, which whole 60,000, and the reserve for in all countries, from its weight the last five years.

and influence, is destined to proThus you see a system absolute; duce extensive effects upon the never departed from, tending to national conduct and character. make France a nation of soldiers, Yours, &c.

For the Anthology.
REMARKER, No. 26.

Nullius boni sine socio jucunda possessio.Seneca. IN a metropolis as wealthy and ments. · At dinner they are expopulous as our own, it is surpris. pected to preside at the head of ing to hear such constant com- their own table, but they soon replaints of the dulness of society, treat with the cloth, leaving genas we daily meet with. . These tlemen to enjoy themselves alone complaints, although very general, till tea is announced. The amuseought to be confined to those par- ments of the evening are not quite. ties, where the sexes meet togeth- so limited'; but, if we except ocer, Gentiemen enjoy society very casional balls and plays, tea-parties extensively; besides their inter- are the only social pleasures, that course in the way of business, they ladies enjoy. The very name of frequently meet together to dine, tea-party now implies tediousness, sometimes prolonging their sitting and unsuccessful has been every till the midnight hour. They effort to relieve their ennui. Cards meet in social and literary clubs, have lost their interest, and even where they find characters, and musick, which could subdue the tastes, congenial to their own; and fabled gods of hell, yields to the they always endeavour to combine stronger powers of dulness, and if the pleasures of society with their not wholly lost amid the noise of meetings for publick or even char- the talkative, only apologizes for itable and scientifick purposes. the silence of the sleeping. Blest These, and various other social indeed would be that happy genius, pleasures, are exclusively their who, by some powerful magick own. Ladies, on the other hand, charm, should dethrone the leaden have but little time that they can goddess, and, rousing every doremploy in the enjoyment of soci- mant faculty into action, should ety. Their mornings are wholly place wit and ease in her place. occupied by domestick duties, ex. Nor is the task so arduous as might cept perhaps they are interrupted be supposed. Our manners only by ceremonial visits, which are are defective. Ladies cannot conended with a few formal compli- sistently be charged with wanting education, when it is considered character, which is the best supout of their sphere to give an opin- port of female worth. Wishing ion beyond the fashions of the to be easy, they become familiar; day, or the amusements of the sea they are flattered by the attentions son; and when, by making an ob- of the moment, and supported by servation on literature, they receive their own conceit ; they go on the odious title of female pedant, without reflecting, till too late they and are sneeringly said to be so find themselves deserted ; and dissensible, as to be fit only for the cover, that for the gratification of company of gentlemen. Because the moment, they have rendered some of their sex wish to be thought themselves cheap, and have lost metaphysicians or statesmen,char- that respect, which they sought to acters for which they are unquali- obtain. Like toys, they are trifled fied both by nature and education, with for a time, and are then put are the rest to be excluded from aside for some new plaything. the paths of literature and the re- Many of our first ladies likewise gions of taste? The powers of want confidence, and suffer themwomen are certainly adequate to selves to be abashed and silenced the part they have to bear in soci- by the folly and impertinence of ety ; but such is the state of our fops. I have known many a lady, social parties, and such the want who, with a small circle of friends, of ease which prevails at them, was the life of the party, unable in that those powers are wholly lost; a mixed company to take any share and it is frequently difficult to dis. in conversation. cover, whether a lady, whose mind But if ladies do not perform is really cultivated, can extend her their part in society, gentlemen ideas beyond the most trifling sub- are still more deficient. Some ject of conversation. Our parties think their duty fully performed, are not indeed so formal as they if they are in time to attend their once were, when the two sexes wives home. Others collect in a were arranged fronting each oth- corner to converse on the news of er, like hostile armies, and the day, or the business of the exwere never disturbed during change ; while some are seated the evening, except when some the whole evening at the serious valiant advanced towards the foe, and taciturn game of whist. Our and after a short skirmish retreate young men think they condescend ed to his former security. But we by being present at these parties, have still great stiffness in all our and are therefore little anxious to parties, which is as uncomfortable promote the entertainment of the to be supported, as the brocades company ; though perhaps they and contracted waists were by the may repeat a few studied speeches, dames of old. The attempts, that in order to impress upon others have been made to correct this the same exalted ideas of their stiffness, have been generally in- own worth, that they have themjudicious, and have ended in the selves. opposite extreme of levity, which, The hostess equally mistakes though it may have rendered cel- her part, when she considers that ebrated the ladies of some cities, she has performed her duty by yet has never produced individual providing refreshments for the evesteem. Some with their stiffness ening,and guests to consume them. throw aside that natural dignity of There are indeed a few small circles, which ought to be exempted that their manners can be softened from this general character ; but and refined : if they would therethey are rare, and many of those fore endeavour to give ladies conladies, who shine in them, are lost fidence, and throwing off their own in the mixed crowds of large tea- superciliousness,introduce subjects parties. To render general soci- that ladies may converse upon with ely agreeable, it would be neces- ease, and reflect upon with pleassary, that every one should feel he ure : if ladies would throw off forhad a part to bear in it; and that mality and restraint, and yet rehe was bound to exert himself for tain gentleness and modest digni: the entertainment of the whole. ty, which find their way to every If the hostess, instead of discharg- heart : if every one would enter ing a long score of old debts, by into company, determined to be squeezing into her apartments a pleased,-society would assume a large collection of persons, whose new appearance. No other exerfaces even are not familiar to each tion would be necessary to render other, and few of whom can it perfectly agreeable, and to make converse on the same topicks, us as celebrated for our charming would invite those persons only, social intercourse, as we are now whose society would be mutually for our stupid tea parties. Till agreeable, and who could without these exertions are made, we shall restraint join in the same conver- only smile at the complaints of sation : if gentlemen would rec. those, who consider themselves ollect, that whatever pleasure they bound to endure the present ennui may derive from their own society, of society. it is in the company of ladies only

For the Anthology.

ORIGINAL LETTERS From an American Traveller in Europe to his friends in this country.

LETTER TENTH.
Naples, Feb. 7. 1805. ciety he can only have a limited

and partial admission to draw genMORALS OF ITALY. THE

eral and illiberal inferences as to WALTZ.

the state of their morals, and the MY DEAR SISTER,

nature of their domestick relations. I PROMISED you my observa. The very illiberal representations tions on the state of morals and which we have seen made of the manners in Italy. In reply to manners of our own country by · your queries as to the correctness Chastellux, Weld, Parkinson, Lianof the pictures drawn by Moore, court, Bayard, and that execrable Brydone, Smollet, and Mrs.Starke, German, whose travels were reI'would observe, that I think it ex- published in the Port Folio, ought tremely unfair in a traveller, who to lead us to be very cautious how visits a foreign country, to whose we venture upon general descriplanguage he is in a considerable tions, especially unfavourable ones, degree a stranger, into whose so- of foreign nations. What credit can we give to narrations of this For my own part, though I adsort, when we find the most liberal mit that the question can never be of the abovementioned travellers, absolutely put at rest, eccept by Mons. Bayard, gravely telling the those who enter personally into citizens of France, that "les Amer. this vortex of folly or vice, yet I icains se mouchent avec des doigts'? entertain no doubts that the interI will not offend the delicacy of course between the sexes is as coryour sex, nor raise a blush of in- rupt as can well be imagined. It dignation, by translating the abom- would require more candour than inable calumny. Suffice it to say, I possess to believe, that while huthat a single trait of that kind re- man nature is found so frail in all lated by a traveller would be suffi- the colder climates, it can preserve cient to convince every French, its purity in the midst of temptaman,that we are but little advanced tion, in the warm, luxurious cliabove our savages.

mate of Italy ; in that Italy, which But although general comments in all ages has been famed for its on national manners are, for the valuptuousness. reasons I have assigned, improper, The attentions, the tenderness, unjust, and illiberal, still there are the marks of unceasing affection, certain leading traits, which he which are openly displayed by the who runs may read, and which he cicisbeo towards his favourite fair, may without risk report. To say, must in the end wean the affections for example, that there is a most of the most virtuous wife from her ludicrous mixture of superstition husband. and levity in the religious exercises When a married woman not onof the Italians, and in their ob- ly ayowedly receives the assiduities servance of the sabbath, would not of a young unmarried man, but be hazardous or illiberal.. At the expresses in the warmest language church you would suppose them her love, her esteem for him : the most devout and pious people when she openly acknowledges in christendom; walk to the Villaher jealousy of her illicit lover, Reale, the publick promenade, and and watches his attentions to other you would say, that religion did ladies with marked dissatisfaction, not enter into their system. The - I must require evidence that hu. sabbath is the grand moment of man nature is totally reversed in festivity and gaiety; and after the Italy,be fore I can believe that such conscience has been once discharg- connections are innocent. ed by auricular confession, the on- The subjugation of this country ly study you would. imagine was, by France, and the introduction of how to muster up a good account several thousand young, gallant for the next. The old story of the French officers, have not tended Cicisbeos is familiar to you. Its much to purify the morals of this repugnance to all our ideas of do- nation. France, you may remem. mestick propriety naturally ren-ber, conquered it in the 13th cenders it odious to us. The only tury, and the debauchery of the question among travellers has been, French nobility excited so much how far this singular custom ex- the jealousy of the Italians, that tends. Whether it is a merely in- they massacred every Frenchman nocent etiquette ? or whetner there on Easter eve, while they were at is that complete corruption of man- their devotions. Thougb the chaners, which appearances indicate?. racter of the Italians has totally Vol. IV, No. 10. 3U

::

« PreviousContinue »